Well actually competing in CSA4 so not quite in the same league as the Brian Thompson / Michel Desjoyaux dream team rocket ship , the gunboats and the Volvo 70s like Monster Project, more of a scratch crew really, composed of mates of the skipper from back home and a bunch of friends from the ARC.
Had some of us arrived a little earlier than the day before the first race, we might have had an opportunity to practise. Expectations were accordingly modest in a “very hot fleet”, with a number of the other crews in our class very tight, well-drilled units.
We satisfied ourselves with aiming to do our best, get better with every race, and, most importantly, have fun.
Day 1 – Thursday – Commodore’s Cup – Abandoned.
Boomvang mast fitting snapped – miraculously managed to secure a second-hand replacement to be ready to race the following morning.
Day 2 – Friday – Round the Island – Last in our class.
Another rig failure. This time our main halyard shackle blew less than five minutes into the raise on our first upwind leg – retrieving the halyard and getting main back up meant we got going 20-30 minutes behind the rest in our class – not recoverable – but at least we finished.
Day 3 – Saturday – “round the cans” – Race 1: 9th, Race 2: 12th, Race 3: 9th (out of 14).
Having beaten a number of other boats, we were 10 minutes too late to make it through the bridge into the lagoon at 3pm, but the fortuitous arrival of 99 Bottles meant we had someone to raft up on and drink with whilst we waited for the 5pm opening.
By 4pm all the families had turned up so that made it Khujada 2, Chili, Take Off, 99 Bottles, Spray, Nisida (6 ARC boats) all together for the aperitif, along with the rest of our racing crew. The party started in earnest ….
Day 4 – Sunday – half the other way round the island and back – 10th (of 14).
No major improvement over the previous day losing too much ground on one upwind leg, but it all started to come together as we overhauled a number of boats on the final downwind, getting used to our roles and working together, and the regatta was over all too soon … and yes, we had a lot of fun!
Thank you to Jorgen and Take Off for allowing me to be a part of it.
Lots of boats … waiting for one narrow bridge:
Impressive spectator boats: